The star-studded black comedy "The Menu" will be released in German cinemas on November 17th. Stars Anya Taylor-Joy (26) and Nicholas Hoult (32) play a couple in director Mark Mylod's (57) film who attend an exclusive dinner for US$1250 per person. But star chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes, 59) has prepared a very special menu for his well-to-do clientele in his world-famous restaurant on a deserted island. It quickly becomes clear that when the doors at the Hawthorne restaurant close, it is not planned that any of the dinner guests will ever leave the establishment alive again.
In an interview with the news agency spot on news, the two main actors talk about funny moments during filming, the aura of their fellow actor Ralph Fiennes and their own culinary preferences.
Nicholas Hoult: I don't think Margot and Tyler have much in common. Their sense of the world and their ideologies are incompatible. In life, though, it's okay to have conflicting interests. That can complement each other very well.
Anya Taylor-Joy: It can work. Whatever makes you happy.
Taylor-Joy: What I liked about the script was that it surprised me at every turn. I watched every scene and asked myself: What is happening here? It's absurd. It's absolutely insane. I was really drawn to the idea of telling such an original story.
Hoult: I liked reading the film's framing as a meal that unfolds over the course of an evening. I thought this is a great way to tell a story. Also, I laughed a lot when I first read the script. But when I was shooting I was pretty shocked by some scenes, because some moments in the film are really brutal.
Taylor-Joy: Margot is not easily influenced. She doesn't really care what other people think of her. She is very comfortable in her own skin and makes no apologies for who she is. She doesn't have to prove herself to anyone. In such a boastful, pretentious setting, she naturally offends with her manner...
Taylor-Joy: He's brilliant. He made me laugh with every single shot. It was very difficult to stay serious. You are very good.
Hoult: I only play Foodies anymore. This is my new goal. So I can eat for free (laughs). Tyler is someone who desperately wants to be accepted. He is isolated and alone, and privileged at that. Margot knows who she is. Tyler is the complete opposite.
Hoult: A hamburger.
Taylor-Joy: I think we're both more into fast food. "The Menu" is about hubris and presumption for the sake of presumption. But what do you do then? It's all just glitz instead of something with real substance. You don't want to go through an expensive meal and then have to grab a hamburger because you're still hungry.
Hoult: I do enjoy the creativity of steadfast perfectionists, though. It was amazing to witness these types of people.
Hoult: Yes, she acted as a "food consultant" and designed the menu.
Taylor-Joy: She coached the actors who play the kitchen staff. That definitely made the film more authentic.
Hoult: He wanted it to feel like "Gosford Park". Even if we're sitting at the table in the foreground and speaking the lines of dialogue from the script, someone should still be talking in the background - like at a dinner party. Of course, with 10 to 12 hour days of shooting, at some point it becomes very difficult to always stay in character and improvise. But it's fun to think things up spontaneously. When Cut was called, it was also funny to see what of the improvised material actually fits the character - and what you were more like yourself.
Taylor-Joy: I wasn't intimidated in a negative way. I really love passionate people who have a certain aura about them. That makes me feel good. Ralph is a very generous performer. Whatever I did, he was there to catch and support. To be honest, I just really enjoyed watching him.
Hoult: I really enjoyed watching him. It was like sitting in the front row at the theater. Also, I want my character to feel intimidated by him. So I was allowed to be intimidated by him. That played into my hands.
Hoult: Yes, of course. Each of my projects is important to me. I want them to be good and I want people to enjoy the films afterwards.
Taylor Joy: Yes, absolutely. You spend a significant part of your life on a project. Then, of course, you hope that people will enjoy it or get something out of it or get something to think about.
Hoult: Yes, I'm asking them to put their time and money into it.
Taylor Joy: Exactly. Strangely enough, actually shooting the film is one of my favorite things about my job. I had a blast making this film with everyone involved and it's an experience I will always cherish. So on the one hand there is the experience of making the film and then there is the reaction to the film. Of course you hope it turns out well, but if you've had a great time filming and learned something yourself, it's still a treasured experience to carry with you.